When Joe Blanton and the Phillies took on Jayson Werth for the first time since he left as a free agent, Werth won. Werth hit a solo home run off Blanton and finished 2-for-3 with a walk, a double and a stolen base, and the Nationals beat the Phillies 7-4 Tuesday.
Werth, who signed a seven-year, $126 million deal with Washington after spending the last four seasons with the Phillies, was booed by a strong contingent of Philadelphia fans that outnumbered the home crowd at Nationals Park, where the announced attendance was 13,413.
"I was kind of waiting for it," said Werth, who first heard boos when he made three catches on routine flyballs in the first two innings. "Once it happened, it was kind of funny."
Werth also helped ignite Blanton's worst inning. After holding Washington to one run over the first three innings, Blanton allowed five baserunners to reach in the fourth, when Washington turned a 1-1 tie into a 4-1 lead.
Blanton's first pitch of the inning was rifled by Werth into the left field corner for a double. After retiring the next batter, Matt Stairs, another former teammate, Blanton allowed four straight Nats hitters to reach before opposing pitcher Livan Hernandez executed a perfect safety squeeze bunt.
Blanton has allowed 12 runs on 17 hits in 10 1/3 innings this season, and nine of those hits have come in two innings of his two starts.
"I'm having a little problem out of the stretch right now, it's kind of obvious," Blanton said. "I'm giving up a lot of hits with runners on, which is never good. Physically, the execution is not there out of the windup right now. I had the same problem back in '09.
"I'll take a look at that in the next couple of days and see if I can make an adjustment to make better quality pitches down in the zone with runners on. I have to go to the video to make sure. ... I have a good feeling that might be what it is."
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